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Green building to facilitate environmental engineering research


London, ON – The University of Western Ontario has received a $5-million gift that will help build an engineering research facility dedicated to investigating climate change and the environment.

The gift from the Lassonde Family Foundation will support the construction of the facility. The family’s gift honours the life and contributions of the late Dr Claudette MacKay-Lassonde who passed away in 2000. The four-storey building, which is expected to be completed by summer 2009, will be named the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion in her honour and in recognition of the Lassonde family gift.

Among her many accomplishments, Dr MacKay-Lassonde became the first female president of the Association of Professional Engineers Ontario in 1986. From 1987 to 1988, she was a member of the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology. Active in promoting engineering as an attractive career for women, she organized the first Canadian Convention of Women Engineers, founded the organization Women in Science and Engineering, and was instrumental in setting up the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation.

The pavilion will house research on green technologies, processes and materials and, at the same time, the building itself will feature the most advanced environmentally sustainable construction technologies and methodologies. It will be used as an active teaching tool and will be monitored in its performance.